Original Christians

David Karchere

Are you ready for a panoramic view of the epic journey of our species?

These words are from the song “I Believe,” by Eric Levisalles, and sung by Andrea Bocelli and Katherine Jenkins:

I believe in a world
Where light will guide us
And giving our love
We’ll make heaven on earth. 

Yes, I believe. 

I believe in the people
Of all nations
To join and to care
For love. 

I believe in a world
And giving our love
We’ll make heaven on earth.
I believe.

What a beautiful statement of faith! These words express the vision and the potential that was planted in our hearts long ago.

I want to share a large and generous view of our race, the human race. It is easy to look at what human beings do and, at times, become frustrated. And frustration can go to despair. But I would like to step back and take a compassionate look at our species and the journey we are on. So, if you will, join me in this sweeping perspective of what is happening for us as the human race.

Sometimes we look out at humanity, near and far, wonder about the ignorance of human beings, and wonder how it got to be like that.

The reality is that many people have a hard time discerning what is true in the very immediate circumstance in which they live. Often, people cannot unravel and understand all the factors that are involved just in the immediate situation. And so, when it comes to the state of the world—social, political, cultural trends, and our spiritual evolution as a species—how much more difficult is it for people to see what is happening and understand it truly?

I am going to take you back thousands of years. The human race found itself in tribes of people scattered around the world. We were hunter-gatherers, disconnected from each other, in some cases desperate to survive.

Archaeologists name three parts of the Stone Age: the Paleolithic, the Mesolithic, and the Neolithic. In the story of our prehistory and then our history, Stone Age people began to practice agriculture, which changed everything. They learned metallurgy and started to use tools that were not just stone implements.

Great civilizations emerged in the Fertile Crescent and other places around the globe. The Bronze Age and the Iron Age followed.

Empires rose and fell. Foremost among them in the ancient world was Rome.

In our collective story, we rose out of the Stone Age, through the age of ancient empires, through medieval time, to the age of science, the industrial revolution, and to the information age we live in today. And yet, many of the traits of our earlier existence still persist.

In some cases, hunter-gatherer peoples were beneficent, living in peace with each other and the planet. We know this from such people who still live that way today. Yet, we also know there can be awful barbarity in many hunter-gatherer peoples—cannibalism, war, superstition, and human sacrifice.

Through the ages, civilization has been emerging out of all that into something else. And do you think anybody was going to wave a magic wand and that would mean we would be totally evolved in an instant? That we would instantly know our oneness, and fulfill the true potential of humankind, expressed in the lyrics of that song, “I Believe”?

There were potent drops of awakened consciousness released into human culture by enlightened souls over the millennia to accelerate our evolution. We think of Abraham, Buddha, and many others as such people. Right in the middle of the domination of the Roman Empire, there was this beautiful Being we speak of as Jesus.

I have faith that any human being in any given moment could awaken and choose to know what is true, to know love, and to act out of what they know. Yet we understand that that has not been the only part of our history, because there has also been great ignorance and destructive choices.

Against the backdrop of ages and empires, there has been the introduction of awakened consciousness. And then, what did those empires do? With rare exceptions, empires do what empires do. In this case, they crucified the man who brought awakened consciousness and then coopted his teaching and overlaid elements that had little to do with what he brought. That became Christianity, and many earnest, well-meaning people took that forward through the centuries. We have the blessing of the Bible, which is a remarkably accurate, though imperfect portrayal of Jesus’ teachings brought down to us through Christianity.

You might ask, What else would have happened? How else might the conscious evolution of these hunter-gatherer people have gone, with all their superstition and brutality and their desperate efforts to survive? 

Those Stone Age people became farmers and soldiers, and leaders of empires. What else did we think was going to happen when someone appeared who showed the path to enlightened spiritual consciousness? All the people involved had the opportunity to make a positive conscious choice. But what were the odds of that happening?

Today, we find humankind carrying some of the barbarity from our paleolithic ancestors. Only now we weaponize false stories in this information age. And we are armed not with weapons of stone but with armaments from this nuclear era.

When you think about it, it is a wonder that we have come this far as a race, given our origins. We are far from perfect. There is barbarism at work in our world today and more recent attempts at empire-building. And still, we can appreciate that we, as humankind, are on an evolutionary path, and the dream portrayed through the lyrics of the song “I Believe” is still alive in our hearts and still calling us.

A critical factor in the mix is the level of wisdom of well-intentioned people. That wisdom depends on what they value, honor and worship. For religious people, it comes down to this: Do we worship our church, or do we worship God?

I am not speaking now of the God of any particular religion. I am speaking about the Presence of Being that expresses and embodies itself through all Creation. I’m not speaking about my God as opposed to someone else’s God. I am speaking of the Living Reality that we are a part of. I am speaking about the source of Love and the origin of all life.

Do we honor and value that Reality above all? Or have the forms of human culture that are systems of belief and codes for human behavior become our god?

For some, it is the Christian church that is worshipped, along with all the person’s ideas that stem from that worship. But, of course, there are many other religions around the world that followers might worship.

In this post-modern era, the religion for many is not religion. It is science. Or some form of humanism. Or a personally developed belief and practice of spirituality, personal growth, or new-age philosophy. Or perhaps progressive values. And like the church, promoters of all these post-modern beliefs can demand that everyone else follow their ideas and practices. Then they believe that if everyone would, the world would be okay.

And so, people worship the god of their post-modern religion, allowing it to replace, for them, their own deep knowing of who they are, who we are as humankind, and our place on Planet Earth.

To bring it down to cases for me, do I worship Sunrise Ranch or Emissaries of Divine Light? These entities are precious to me because they express and embody what is true and real. They are an expression of profound Love. But they are not my God.

I would think any spiritual leader has to face that kind of question. Or at least they have the opportunity to face it. What do they worship? 

In my imagination, if I had a secret meeting with Pope Francis, and he could speak freely and honestly, he would readily acknowledge the distinction between worshipping the Catholic Church and worshipping God. He may not dare say it publicly, but in his heart of hearts, I bet he knows.

Our calling as a race of people who are descended from our hunter-gatherer ancestors is to know what is true beyond all superstition, prejudice, or limited human belief. Truth is an elusive thing. A true fact or theory might be part of what is true. But truth is far more than a fact or theory. Truth is reality. It is everything. And anyone who claims their pet theory or their pet fact is the truth does not know what they are talking about. It may be part of the truth. But we only know truth when we know Reality—when we know God and the embodiment and expression of God. And who could define that or encapsulate it mentally?

It was not just the Roman Empire that churchified what Jesus brought under the Roman emperor Constantine, and after. The apostles Peter and Paul did a good job of that too. And, you might ask, What else were they going to do, given their level of conscious awareness? We understand. They felt responsible for bringing something important to them to the world, so they created a church, however imperfectly. Ultimately, for the Christian world, the question is this:

Do we look to them, or the church they played a seminal role in creating, as the truth? 

Or do we look to the Presence, the Love, and the Light Jesus brought to the world? 

Confucius is credited with this saying: 

When a wise man points at the moon, the imbecile looks at his finger. 

Christianity has been a finger, pointing to something. We might argue how clearly or accurately it does so. Nonetheless, let us look to the reality it points to without becoming obsessed with the finger, pro or con.

I’m grateful that Christianity has carried within itself the thread of who this man was and what he brought. But let us find that thread and follow it to its source.

Let us allow the truth that Jesus brought—his message, his words, his spirit, his Love—be supreme. I would think that we should weigh anything anyone had to say about him in light of the supremacy of the truth he brought. It was the truth of Love. And let us accept his invitation to know that truth and let it set us free. I, for one, claim for myself that I am a disciple of that truth.

Today, some people embrace the finger—religion. Some reject the finger. Then some do not want to hear about it. And yet there was a gift given to humankind from an awakened human being for the quickening of our conscious spiritual evolution. Whether there is acceptance, rejection, or apathy about religion, the relevant question is this: Does a person receive the gift that has been given?

On this day, there are some of us who embrace the gift, setting aside all the things that would obscure it, distort it, or make it hard to access. When it comes to the Catholic Church—or any other church, for that matter—I have no dog in that fight. I am grateful for what it has brought down through the ages, recognizing the error of its ways. But that is not my primary concern. My concern is to be a disciple of the Love that Jesus brought, a disciple of the Light he brought. My concern is to receive the gift and do as he asked, which is to give it. I desire to be an original Christian.

We all have the opportunity to be original Christians—to receive the Christ spirit into ourselves and bring it to the world. We have the opportunity now to be disciples of the Divine Presence that came through that man long ago. I am not talking about being a follower of early leaders of the Christian church. I am talking about being a disciple of the gift brought by Jesus himself.

You cannot do that without embracing the presence and the radiance of the Divine in yourself. So this is not an exercise of putting somebody on a pedestal. That is a good way to avoid receiving the gift—put him on a pedestal.

We can honor a friend without putting them on a pedestal. And in honoring them, we receive their friendship and their gift. That is exactly the opportunity that is before us.

All Being is eternal. His gift is eternal, and his Being is eternal, just like all Being. So the gift of Divine Presence is available to us here and now.

Thank you for sharing this meditation with me and this large, compassionate view of what has transpired for us as humankind. And with that view, let us ready ourselves. Let us equip ourselves for the next leg of this journey, for the final coming together of hunter-gatherer tribes who went through experiences of agriculture, empire, and industry but who are beginning to know themselves as one people, one race, one heart, one Love, one Light, one collective Presence around the world.

This is our destiny. This is our dream. This is what is happening to us. Let us be willing travelers on this victorious journey.

So let it be.

I believe in a world
Where light will guide us
And giving our love
We’ll make heaven on earth.

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Fiona Gawronsky
Fiona Gawronsky
April 30, 2022 7:15 am

Stories are dry and boring where they do not also carry a message within the narrative. If you don’t know this, you cannot truly reveal what you don’t understand inherent in the story.

That Christianity has held over some 2,000 years is a testament to those few who have understood the message that Jesus brought to the world. This has taken not just scholarship but some intuition, too.

Perhaps on account of so much being hidden, as you might say – in plain sight – that the magic and essence handed down in the Christian message has survived through time and translation.

It is a sad reflection that so much over the ages has resulted in violence and war regarding religion. The very essence of the Christian message became mistranslated, becoming politicized and used as a tool of indoctrination and control; yet its core message has lived on.

Why? Because, as Martin Exeter wrote: “The truth is true…” and it is unconquerable. And that which is unconquered lives on.

It is time to live the message! The true impulse of Love and community.

Ron Free
Ron Free
April 28, 2022 3:21 pm

I believe in that world too,David, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. If it is truly the truth which we seek, there is also ample evidence that heaven on earth can be experienced. Let us be about the process of hunting and gathering that into our bodies, minds and hearts.

April 27, 2022 10:17 pm

Such beautiful truths!! Thank you…

Willow Winddancing
Willow Winddancing
April 27, 2022 9:39 pm

Thankyou David. This contemplation is deeply insightful & timely for what is unfolding in my world today….I am grateful to be on this journey with you.

Kojo Akuamoah
Kojo Akuamoah
April 27, 2022 8:05 pm

Hi David,
Great insight you’ve shared. Touching on unraveling and understanding all the factors involved in the immediate and future situations is a quagmire but resolvable.
The traits of hunter and gathering revisited mankind during the Covid 19 pandemic in a subtle way not to our liking.
We can have faith and believe but we need to “take our bed and walk”beyond belief. Otherwise, barbarism, empire-building, you referred to, continues to be industry.
I have a problem with the word “worship”. Is it not related to kingdom, monarchy, democracy, unto the Global Tyranny we are herding to?

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